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Publisher's Summary

Do your kids think that clean, folded clothes magically appear in their drawers? Do they roll their eyes when you suggest they clean the bathroom? Do you think it's your job to pave their road to success? As parents, so often we hover, race in to save, and do everything we can for our kids - unintentionally reinforcing their belief that the world revolves around them.

When Kay Wyma realized that an attitude of entitlement had crept into her home, this mother of five got some attitude of her own. Cleaning House is her account of a year-long campaign to introduce her kids to basic life skills. From making beds to grocery shopping to refinishing a deck chair, the Wyma family experienced for themselves the ways meaningful work can transform self-absorption into earned self-confidence and concern for others.

With irresistible humor and refreshing insights, Kay candidly details the ups and downs of removing her own kids from the center of the universe. The changes that take place in her household will inspire you to launch your own campaign against youth entitlement. As Kay says, "Here's to seeing what can happen when we tell our kids, 'I believe in you, and I'm going to prove it by putting you to work."

©2012 eChristian Inc. (P)2012 eChristian Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Yes, yes, YES!!

What did you love best about Cleaning House?

I chose it to read because I'm on a 12-months of "xyz"-kick right now ... but as a mother of young children, I bump up against this entitlement stuph on a regular basis. I found myself shouting YES!! to her philosophy and statements (after admitting to the error of her ways prior to the project) and cheering her and her family on throughout the book. I feel so strongly about the points and quality of this book that I am purchasing it for every member (40!) of my Mothers of PreSchoolers group this year!

What was one of the most memorable moments of Cleaning House?

when she recounts a friend's son putting in a sprinkler system himself (including research and purchasing), and when she had one (clueless) kid pump gas ...

Which scene was your favorite?

there are 12 categories - I think my favorite 'scenes' are when she explains the different ways her different-personaly-ed crew handled the challenges.

What’s an idea from the book that you will remember?

give kids the tools, and step back. self-esteem is created when you give them the opportunities to succeed (and sometimes fail), not when you pave the way, fix the results, or prevent failure/experience altogether!

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • michele
  • Lancaster, OH, United States
  • 12-28-14

A good book for large families.

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I would recommend this book to families with children at home. It is thought provoking and is a good guide on how to restructure chores. I would caution my friends though that this author has a much less protective approach to child safety than I do. I did not agree that letting children take off alone on bicycles or other community outings is part of building self-sufficient children. Letting toddlers access dangerous playground equipment and letting them learn the hard way if they get hurt seems irresponsible. Children are vulnerable and there are a lot of bad people and dangers out there. At times, I felt that the author was weary of parenting 5 children and was largely motivated by her own need to have the children self-sufficient at an early age. I did not implement this type of program yet, raised three very well adjusted self-sufficient children. The author doesn't factor in maturity as a real physiological process and part of brain functions with aging. She does seem to be rushing her children and it seems they were pretty stressed. I know moms with 5 plus children and it does seem that these moms are much more ready to have their children self-sufficient earlier out of necessity.

Would you recommend Cleaning House to your friends? Why or why not?

Yes, as above. The book has lots of good ideas. She also quotes scripture and seems to be striving to be a Godly mother.

Which scene was your favorite?

No one scene stands out. The book is full of scenes about how the authors children responded to her new mandates.

What did you learn from Cleaning House that you would use in your daily life?

My children are raised, but I can implements some of the ideas with future grand-children. It is a nice concept.

Any additional comments?

The narrator is superb!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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No exactly what I expected

Is there anything you would change about this book?

I liked the idea of this book and the comparison stories but the story is basically the same every month. Maybe it is the wordage used over and over.

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

Maybe not using the same words, basic story line each month.

Have you listened to any of Tavia Gilbert’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

N/A

Did Cleaning House inspire you to do anything?

YES, It made me realize my 20 YOA son is still reaping the benefits.....Not now!

Any additional comments?

This was a good book just a bit redundant. What this book preaches about entitlement is all factual and makes you realize you need to CUT OUT ENABLING!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Great advice, great ideas!

I loved it! I love how far beyond chores it goes and includes acts of service

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • TM
  • 10-12-17

Not bad, it's nice to know you aren't alone

The reader does a good job. I got a few interesting ideas but truthfully most of the things that she said I already do/did with my kids so there weren't too many new concepts for me. However, it was very entertaining when she talks about her children's behavior and attitudes and the voices are really really funny and so spot-on for preteen early teen behavior, it's great. It's great because you realize, "oh I'm not the only one that gets these exact same sounds, grunts, and attitudes" and that's a pretty good feeling, a bit of a balm to parental sanity. I actually quite enjoyed the biblical references to work. My one disappointment, if you will, is that in listing the 12 things she thought every child should know there was no mention initially a financial skills or money management which I think is massively massively important. it was mentioned a couple of times in passing in terms of getting them checking accounts but no depth. it was surprising and I think older kids can probably handle more than basic checking. I would have liked somw solid Ideas on how to teach the fundamentals of not living outside your means etc. to your children. Over all quite a fun listen and a good starter for those families in real entitlement trouble but not a huge amount of depth.

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  • Heather
  • PLEASANT GROVE, UT, United States
  • 10-06-17

Funny, witty, realistic and insightful.

Seriously, the narrator deserves an Oscar if there were such a thing for audio books. The book is written in comic satyr with some good religious sense and great ideas. the experiment makes it sound realistic and doable. I have a family of 6 kids and have decided to real time vlog our review on you tube about our own attempt to do this to get my kids out of the entitlement mentality too. Time will tell how it works.

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Good Read

Trying what she did brought peace to our home. And the narrator is easy to listen to.

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Great listen

I highly recommend it! I had friends who did this in a class. I decided to do it after my son was giving me a hard time with chores. I am going to do this on a regular basis a chore list and teaching him new things on a regular basis.

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Simple Ways to Counter Entitlement in our Kids

If you've been scratching your head searching for ideas to effectively combat "entitlement generation" attitude in your kids - look no further.

The writing style is light and funny - the book is easy to read and enjoyable - but it's packed with straight forward wisdom and immediately employable strategies. This book holds one of the keys to child rearing success that was instinctive to parents and society in previous generations but is foreign to today's parents and sadly, is becoming counter-cultural.

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Great tips and techniques

I enjoyed this books honesty and openness about parenting teens. I'm definitely going to put the ideas into practice in our house